Whether you're an amateur or seasoned angler, there’s a need for you to know the best way to get fish hooks out of fish. This is actually fishing 101, regardless of whether you want the fish to go into your cooler or back on the water to thrive. We’ll review the best fish hook removers you can purchase, and provide you with helpful tips to choose the right one for you.
Best Hook Removers for Fish
Here are the top picks after many hours of research and testing:
1. Crazy Shark Aluminum Hook Remover
First on our list of the best fish hook removers is the Crazy Shark model as it’s designed to be useful in the harshest of conditions. It’s made of aviation-grade aluminum. Its hook-securing assembly has a stainless-steel material construction, making it an incredibly solid fishing tool.
Its ergonomic grip allows you to apply maximum pressure on fish hooks. In order to remove a hook, just squeeze hard to firmly clamp on the hook. Then, twist or put pressure to extract the hook.
It’s only 9.6 inches in length and features an anti-rust coating that doesn’t fade according to the manufacturers and its users.
Overall, it’s a well-designed, functional, durable, and lightweight fish hook extractor, perfect for anglers and all kinds of weather conditions.
2. RUNCL Fishing Hook Remover
The RUNCL Fish Hook Remover features a spring-loaded handle or trigger, which makes it a convenient tool to remove fishing hooks using only one hand.
It has a longer nose, measuring 10.6 inches to provide a safe distance from the mouth and teeth of fish. It’s also a good option to use to remove embedded hooks in larger species’ mouths.
The ergonomic handle of the extractor is wider and it has a set of anti-slip rubber strips that provide a good grip even with wet hands.
Although the handle’s core is hollow, it’s made of durable, high-strength ABS which reduces this extractor’s weight significantly without compromising its longevity.
3. Booms Fishing R1 Fish Hook Extractor
They say that if something isn’t broken, then don’t fix it. Booms Fishing R1 fits this statement perfectly.
The extractor sports the traditional design of hook removers and it’s actually been around for quite some time. But, it’s still capable of getting the job done right.
Measuring 11 and a half inches, it feels rigid from its stainless-steel body. The robust jaws of this tool are operated by the spring-loaded handle for applying maximum pressure onto fish hooks while removing them.
It’s incredibly easy to use. Anglers can remove hooks that are deep inside fishes clearly and quickly. It also works without hurting your hand or fingers, so it’s definitely a great option.
4. PureZoneA Fish Hook Remover
PureZoneA Fish Hook Remover offers two extractors for the price of one. This set of two hook removers is handy for gripping fish hooks, twisting and shaking, fish will just fall off unharmed.
They keep your fingers away from sharp teeth of large, dangerous species, and they let you dig deeper on gut hooked fish, too. The extractors prolong hook longevity and reduce fish injuries.
Although the handle is made of plastic. it doesn’t break or loosen up easily even under a high amount of pressure placed on it.
It allows an angler to have control over a fish or the line with one hand while the other hand unhooks fish.
5. BUBBA Hook Extractor
If you’re on the lookout for a longer hook remover to reach further down fish that’s gut-hooked, then this is a good option for you.
It has a twelve inches-long anodized aluminum shaft. This gives you more than enough shaft to extract hooks from large, toothy snapper fishes or pike.
The strong, anodized aluminum shaft of this extractor has been coated with titanium nitride. This is why it’s both tough and rust-resistant. It’s suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. The scaled, non-slip, and ergonomic plastic handle provides a comfortable and steady grip.
This hook extractor also doubles as a trusty line cutter, so you’ll be able to slice through braid, mono, or fluorocarbon fishing lines with the tool.
6. Cuda Titanium Bonded Fish Remover
If you’re looking for a durable, comfortable, and titanium-bonded fish hook remover, the Cuda dehooker is a good choice for you.
It’s one of the most sought-after fishing tools on the market today. With a length of 8.5 inches, it’s appropriate to use with average size fish with deeply buried hooks.
It features t-shaped handles which were given the signature of the company, the Cuda Scale pattern. The handles provide an incredibly secure grip, which means it won’t slip out of your hand regardless of how slippery it is.
7. Eagle Claw Hook Remover
This plastic fish hook remover is believed by some anglers to be more friendly and gentle to fish than pistol grip fish hook removers.
If you do the catch and release, we suggest you give it a try too. After all, it’s the cheapest product on our list! Just keep one on your tackle box and another in the boat.
The two heads are able to solve more problems with hooks than one, most especially when there’s a need for you to retract engulfed hooks. It’s simple and cheap, and it’s able to get the job done.
8. Homthia Easy Fishing Hook Remover
Suitable for smaller-sized fish, this short fish hook remover is a great addition to your tackle box. It works wonders on treble hooks and makes for an awesome gift to family and friends who love fishing.
This fish hook removal tool has an aluminum shaft and a 304 stainless steel jaw with a t-style handle. It feels sturdy and strong because it actually is durable.
Because of its shorter shaft, it’s easy to carry around and compact. It provides a safe, enjoyable, and memorable fishing trip with your loved ones.
Don’t be fooled by its smaller size as it can still unhook even those that are deeply engaged into fishes. It also releases quickly to ensure minimum damage is inflicted to fish.
How to Get the Best Fish Hook Removers
Choosing the right extractor for you will depend on what species of fish you’re targeting, the hook size you’re using, and the fishing environment.
Let’s take a closer look at the key features to take into consideration to make a choice between the top picks:
Fishing hook removal tools come in various lengths. The shortest models are 8 inches tall while the lengthier ones are up to 13 inches or even higher. Shorter models are better suited to small freshwater species like trout, walleye, opaleye, and bass.
The longer ones excel at reaching deeper into a fish’s mouth to extract deeply hooked lures. They are ideal for larger freshwater species, including bowfin, muskie, and northern pike, and saltwater fish such as wahoo, bluefish, barracuda, and halibut.
One thing that you need to remember when making a decision on the length is that a longer hook remover for fish can be awkward when you use it on a small species or when you try to take it with you on your backpack for fishing.
Extra length on the shaft can make it unwieldy and make the process of removing the hook a lot more difficult. Do you frequently fish small and large fish? If that’s the case, then get separate de-hookers for small and bigger species.
The best fish dehooking tool is made of stainless steel or anodized aluminum. Anodized aluminum is fairly robust, corrosion-resistant, and lightweight.
You can use it around saltwater and it still won’t corrode or rust. It’s, however, not the toughest type of material used in making fish hook extractors. Don’t try to use it as your makeshift prybar. As for stainless steel, it makes a substantial and tough fish hook remover. However, it’s not completely rust-proof.
The best fish hook removal tool made of stainless steel can be thrown and abused and it’s still going to serve you for years. Just don’t forget to wash them with clean, freshwater after using them to prevent rusting.
The mechanism for hook removal is typically made of stainless steel. There are titanium models that are available as well. With titanium for the fish hook removal mechanism, it’s fully corrosion-proof; however, you should expect to pay more.
Most fishing hook removal tools are suited for removing medium-sized to larger hooks.
As the spring mechanism can be robust, it’s often too strong for a smaller hook and will cause it to break. When extracting smaller hooks, fishing pliers will work well.
The best tool to remove hooks from fish typically makes use of a pistol grip or t-style grip. These grips are effective and may be used with just one hand. The choice will come down to your individual preference.
The t-style grip is a bit smaller and more compact compared to the pistol grip. This means it takes less space when placed inside your tackle box.
There are anglers that believe the pistol grip offers a high level of precision. This isn’t proven and tested, so choosing between the two types of grips will all depend on your personal preference.
Solid Piece or Spring-Loaded
The newer hook removers make use of internal springs for activating their hook removal mechanism. This makes operating them with a single hand easier.
The older models use long metal rods with carved hooks at the end. They’re meant to pry fish hooks out manually. Extractors with the internal spring-loaded style are easier to use and are more versatile.
Some hook removers have added features that can definitely come in handy during fishing expeditions.
Built-in flashlights are particularly useful during low light scenarios or nighttime fishing. Many hook removers also come with a type of lanyard, letting you lash them easily to waders for fly fishing or life vests.
The color that’s best for a fish hook remover won’t matter with the tool’s effectiveness to unhook fish.
It’s more for style or aesthetics. But, it can also be useful as a bright-colored fish hook remover can be easier to see inside your tackle box.
It’s also much easier for you to spot when you take the box outside and work in low or low lighting conditions. It won’t be as important as the other considerations you need to make but it’s definitely something you should think about.
Fish hook removers are typically low-cost. But, as with any type of gear that you buy, cost should be factored into before you make your final selection.
With fish hook removal tools, you have a lot of options so you can definitely find one that’s suitable for your budget. Just make sure you get a durable one so it can last you through several years of use.
A lot of anglers prepare to spend more on hook removal tools than get the cheaper options as they don’t want to keep getting replacements year after year.
There are those that are very conscious about the brands or makers of their fishing fear.
This is because major, reputable fishing gear manufacturers are worth buying from and shelling extra money as you know exactly what you’re getting from them. When you know a specific brand sells durable, quality items, you know your purchase is going to be worthwhile.
Although an unknown brand may still have good products, getting from a recognizable brand will let you be certain of what you’re buying.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you use the best hook remover?
To remove a hook from the lip or mouth of a fish, just hook the tip or end of a hook remover close to the body of the fish. Then, depress the remover’s grips to clasp the fish hook.
Twist it out like how it came in. Depending on where the fish is hooked, you’ll need to flatten the barb out to get the fish hook to slide easily. Remember that a barbless hook is a lot easier to remove compared to the barbed one.
For a fish that’s been gut hooked which makes it hard for you to get the hook out, cut the line or hook close to the body of the fish. It’s your best option. Doing so will allow fish to spit out the fish hook eventually, minimizing the chances of death or serious injury at the very least.
A good set of fish grippers will come in handy whenever you’re trying to get a hold of a fish that’s flopping around. The grippers will keep fish still as you try to remove the fish hook. You might also want to get fish scales if you like capturing the weight of your catch.
How do I remove a fishhook that’s hooked to my skin instead of a fish?
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use your fish hook remover. But you can still safely remove a hook. First, assess the wound. Look at the wound and where it’s located.
The majority of fish hook injuries are in the head, hands, or arms. They are simple to treat, most especially if they are close to the skin’s surface and if they don’t involve complex hooks.
See a healthcare professional or a doctor if the fish hook injury is deep i.e. in a muscle, tendon, or joint. If the hook is near the eye, don’t try removing it too. Seek immediate medical attention. If the hook is quite simple and can be taken out on your own, wash your hands first.
Then, apply downward pressure. With your hand, apply just the right amount of downward force onto the hook’s shank or the midpoint of a hook’s curve. Doing so will disengage the barb of the hook so you can draw the hook back through your skin. You should try to rotate the fish hook back slightly.
Then, pull the fish hook backward when the barb has been disengaged. Ideally, it should easily slip out. If you feel a bit of resistance, stop otherwise you will damage a tissue.
If you have removed the hook, then treat the area the same as you would with a puncture wound. If not, try another method of taking it out or leave it be and seek professional help.
How do fish hook removers work?
Hook removers help get you deep into the mouth without injuring it. As soon as you get a grab of a fish hook, use the remover tool to extract the hook carefully then pull it out of your catch.
You should be able to do so with as little to no damage at all to the fish so it has the best chances of surviving.
What are hook disgorgers?
Hook disgorgers are the same exact tools as fish dehooking tools. A hook disgorger is just another name that anglers and fishing gear manufacturers call this essential tool.
A disgorger removes fish hooks which are stuck deeply in fish’s bodies. As a result, you’ll be able to free them and they can go back to the water.
Is it hard to remove a barbed fish hook?
If you want to release your catch back to the water, be careful when you try to remove a barbed fish hook. It’s not hard but you need to be very gentle. You would want to dull a barbed hook first before you try pulling it out. Pinch the hook to do so.
What species of fish can I use hook removal tools on?
You can use hook removal tools on any kind of fish. They are particularly useful when a fish accidentally swallows the fish hook.
Fish species with sharp teeth are the best ones to use removal tools on as they can be hard to set free from hooks without accidentally cutting yourself or getting bitten by them.
Can I use long-nosed pliers instead of hook removers?
There are some anglers that think using a pair of long-nosed pliers will work like hook removers. But, pliers have a much wider design.
This makes the tool unable to let you reach far down to the fish’s mouth or belly to get the fish hook out. There’s also a chance of you accidentally causing damage to the poor fish as you’ve dug around too much with it.
Hook removers are designed specifically to remove hooks even those that are deeply lodged into the mouth of a fish. They’re available in different sizes, which means you can use them with various species and sizes of fish.
Hook removers are simple and inexpensive tools. The Crazy Shark Aluminum Fish Hook Remover is the best one we’ve tried as it’s very convenient to use when removing fish hooks.
You only need to use one hand, plus it has the right balance of longevity, durability, price, and performance.
Get a couple of them as they are effortless to use and they’re definitely nifty tools to add to your tackle box.